Did Jesus get His message mixed-up?

This would present theologians with a big problem. Inconsistency is imperfection. Imperfection cannot therefore be attributed to God. Furthermore, inconsistencies in God’s message would dangerously threaten the authority, sanctity and inerrancy of Holy Scripture.

Yet we have the Lord God making the following two statements:

I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:35,36)

If any man cometh unto Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own soul also, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26)

So Jesus states in both passages that He wants domestic disharmony not peace, and warns people that without such family hatred they cannot become His followers.

What gives here? These statements are diametrically opposed to Jehovah’s Fourth Commandment of honoring father and mother (not to mention pooh-poohing spiritual love).

Thankfully, scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg offers us a rational explanation by which we can escape such doctrinal schizophrenia and even strengthen our faith in God’s Word.

Swedenborg claimed that God’s Holy Word was a multi-leveled document. Its stories were more than a literal account of human history. They contained higher levels of meanings that conveyed purely spiritual content (as opposed to merely worldly or materialist content).

So even worldly terms like “father,” “brother,” ”sister,” “mother” and “household” contained richer messages about various qualities of the human spirit. Therefore, the word “father,” understood spiritually, would represent the main values and choices we make in life. These values impregnate the human heart and mind (mother), thus fathering and giving birth to our ideas about reality. One’s household is his or her worldview (or faith-system). “Sons” and “brothers” and “sisters” and “mothers” represent the various feelings (loves) and ideas (knowledge) and their resulting activities that occupy one’s spiritual household.

Knowing this we can now begin to make sense of the Lord’s apparent bad advice illustrated in the biblical verses quoted above. First, if one does not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, then one’s inner household contains a “father” and “progeny” that is opposed to God’s teachings. A household operating under opposing principles to that of spiritual love (which unites) will be divided against itself. It is such a household, that the Lord has issues with, for everything in it represents a man or a woman’s true spiritual foe and enemy (our true spiritual enemy is a worldview that stands in the way of peace and eternal blessedness).

The passages which lead up to the verses quoted above make it more clear that Jesus is referring to individuals whose household is not based on God’s spiritual tenets (and therefore adopt a different family of qualities into their household—qualities unworthy of spiritual love). This difference in orientation is the reason for the seeming discrepancy between Jesus and Jehovah—a discrepancy that cannot be reconciled with a simple terrestrial understanding of the terms “father,” “mother,” “brother,” “sister” or “household” used in Scripture.

I have shown you just a glimpse of the deeper revelations that are contained within God’s revealed wisdom. The Lord God has promised to return and reveal His true glory. It is by means of the deeper teachings and levels of meaning contained within Scripture that the Lord God’s true glory will unveil itself. How else can a finite book like the Bible hold God’s Infinite Wisdom?

My upcoming book Proving God will not only discuss these deeper teachings, it will actually show that this scaffolding of the biblical architecture also provides the means by which religion can interface with modern science in a most rational and orderly way!



About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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2 Responses to Did Jesus get His message mixed-up?

  1. Herb Ziegler says:

    Luke 14:26 says if you hate not your family you cannot be Jesus’ disciple. This seems to agree with Matthew 10:35,36. Both passages, of course, then conflict with honoring father and mother, and family love expressed elsewhere in the Bible.

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Herb,

    Good catch! Both Jesus’ statements are in conflict with Jehovah’s Fourth Commandment of honoring father and mother. It is anti-intuitive that the Lord would say something in conflict with spiritual love. So a literal interpretation of Scripture still leaves us with a real theological conundrum. Swedenborg’s teaching’s that the Lord God’s Holy Word contains higher levels of meaning helps us to make sense of Jesus’ odd comments.

    Now I have to go back and revise the post. Thanks for the heads-up tip! I think I am experiencing intellectual fatigue.

    Spiritually yours,

    P.S. I have revised the above post!

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